The 71 scores, some personally dedicated to Rubinstein, include copies of works by composers including Stefan Wolpe, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and Germaine Tailleferre. The music was seized by Nazi Germany from Rubinstein's Paris house in 1940 and then taken to the Soviet Union following World War II. In 1958 the scores were sent to the East Berlin State Library, where they remained until recently.
Rubinstein was born in 1887 in Lodz, Poland and began studying piano at the age of three. In 1906 he played at Carnegie Hall, to a lukewarm reception, and completed a seventy-five concert tour of the U.S. He returned to Carnegie in 1937 and was lauded for his Chopin performances. He fled the Nazis and moved his family to Los Angeles, becoming a citizen in 1946. He spent much of his later life back in Europe, and died in Geneva in 1982.